solid state amplifiers

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Guitar_amplifier

Raven

Raven guitars was a brand name of Great Western Imports Ltd of Vancouver from the mid 1960s onwards. Raven electric, acoustic and bass guitars were intially made in Japan for distribution in the USA and Canada - later ones may have been made in Korea or elsewhere.

Source: Raven catalog 1965

Quilter

The Quilter Sound Company was founded in 1968 by Patrick Howe Quilter. Patrick Quilter was an engineering student with an interest in electronics and music, who built his first amp in 1967 for a friend. In the early 1970s the company operated out of a store in Costa Mesa, California and the amplifiers were built and sold on the same site.

Over the years, the Quilter Sound Company became more focused on developing professional power amplifiers and the guitar amp side of the business became less important. In the 1990s Quilter developed network audio systems to control and monitor amplifier systems remotely and also moved into loudspeaker research and development. The company was renamed QSC, LLC in 2015.

Patrick Quilter retired from QSC in 2011, but then founded Quilter Labs to develop portable, solid-state, high-power guitar amplifiers.

Sola Sound

Sola Sound is an effects and amplifier brand of Macaris Musical Instruments. In 1964 Larry and Joe Macari founded Sola Sounds Limited to develop a range of products made for and sold by the Macaris Musical Exchange shops, as well for distribution nationwide. The product range started with fuzz and effect pedals, but later grew to include amplifiers, mixers, spring reverbs, and microphones. Sola Sound also made Colorsound effects & amplifiers from 1967 onwards.

Source: The Tone Bender Timeline (10 November 2018)

Source: Macaris website (10 November 2018)

Colorsound

Colorsound is an effects and amplifier brand of Macaris Musical Instruments. In 1964 Larry and Joe Macari founded Sola Sounds Limited to develop a range of products made for and sold by the Macaris Musical Exchange shops, as well for distribution nationwide. The product range started with fuzz and effect pedals, but later grew to include amplifiers, mixers, spring reverbs, and microphones. The Macaris established the Colorsound brand in 1967. Larry and Joe Macari opened a factory to make Colorsound effects pedals and each type came in a different, brightly coloured enclosure.

Source: The Tone Bender Timeline (10 November 2018)

Source: Macaris website (10 November 2018)

Gorilla

Gorilla was a budget amplifier brand in the 1980s onwards. For many guitarists a low powered, solid state, Tawainese made Gorilla was their first amplifier. When Howard Chatt bought the Pignose Amps company in 1985, he re-named it Pignose-Gorilla - possibly Chatt was behind the launch of the Gorilla brand? Circa 2002 the Gorilla line up included:

Linear

Linear Products Limited was founded in the early 1960s in the Electron Works building in Armley, Leeds, UK. Linear made amplifiers that were sold through the R.S.C. chain of shops, as well as direct to the customer (sometimes as mail order amplifier kits) and also rebadged for other retailers (e.g. Goldenair amps for Sona Electrical). An offshoot of this company was Futuristic Aids Limited (FAL), who made budget solid state DJ equipment.

Source: Champ Electronics - Linear Products Ltd (29 October 2018)

FAL

Futuristic Aids Limited (FAL) was a company in Leeds founded in the 1970s, UK who specialised in budget solid-state PA and lighting equipment, aimed at the moble DJ. There were also FAL instrument amplifiers and in 1979 FAL aquired the Roost guitar amplifier & cabinet company. The FAL company was founded as an offshoot of Linear Products Limited of Leeds, both companies sold their products through the RSC chain of shops as well as Sona Electrical in Leeds.

Source: Andy Duke - Roost history (29 October 2018)

Source: Champ Electronics - The Linear Products Company (29 October 2018)

Optek

J. Rusty Shaffer  founded Optek Music Systems to manufacture and distribute the Smart Light (later Fretlight) Guitar and learning system which he invented in 1987. These guitars have LED lights embedded into the fingerboard to show learners where to put their fingers. The earlier models were branded Smart Light (SL) and in 1998 Optek went into partnership with Washburn International to market the Washburn SmartLIGHT Guitar. Some of the SmartLight guitars were manufactured by Samick. Optek Music Systems has now discontinued the SmartLIGHT brand name in favour of the Fretlight brand.

Source: Fretlight website (16 October 2018)

Norma

Norma brand guitars, basses and other instruments were made in Japan for distribution by Strum and Drum of Wheeling, Illinois from 1957 to 1972 at least.

Source: Norma catalogs

Nanyo

Nanyo Boeki Company Ltd was a Japanese distributor of microphones, amplifiers and musical instruments.  In the mid 1980s Nanyo aquired the Sexton Guitar Company and manufactured SGC Nanyo basses and launched the Guitar Collection and Bass Collection brands. Nanyo Boeki went out of business (at least the musical instrument part) in the early 2000s and the Bass Collection brand name was aquired by the Bass Centre in London, UK.

Source: SGC Nanyo Bass Collection catalog 1993

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